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1920 - 2011
CAPT Thomas L. Andrews, Jr., died peacefully in his sleep July 25, 2011, at age 90.
Born in Amarillo, Texas, on October 29, 1920 to Thomas and Addy (Leon) Andrews, Tom lived in Amarillo until joining the Navy in 1940, where he was commissioned a Naval Officer and earned his wings as Naval Aviator No. 7680. In 1943, he deployed to the Pacific Theater where he participated in numerous D-Day, H-Hour strikes in the American march across the Pacific. His time in theater culminated in the Battle off Samar Island during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, where he withstood the attack of the Japanese Center Force onboard the Jeep Carrier Kitkun Bay through a 2.5 hour running sea battle, until the Force disengaged and abandoned the assault. Tom then launched his squadron and chased down the Center Force, where he organized an attack on and sunk one of the Tone Class Cruisers. For this action, Tom earned the Navy Cross. After the War, Tom continued flying and instructing until making the shift to the Special Weapons Program, where he participated in the development and testing of nuclear weapons in the early phases of the Program. Throughout his career, Tom commanded squadrons and bases and was Vice Commander of the Pacific Missile Range prior to returning to the Pentagon for his last tour on the Joint Staff. After retiring in 1972, Tom began his career in real estate with Wills and Van Metre Company, then joined his old squadron mate Cliff Fanning with Fanning and Associates in Pensacola, Florida, where he worked first as the Sales Representative for Lake Charlene, then in other capacities until he finally retired in his mid-80's. Tom was active in many charitable causes in Pensacola with his wife, Mary Flo, and was an active golfer at the Pensacola Country Club and A.C. Read golf courses.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Flo, his daughter, Patricia Dale Franklin, his son-in-law COL Chris Franklin, USMC (Ret), both of Victoria, Texas, his son, RADM Thomas L. Andrews, III, SC, USN (Ret), and his daughter-in-law, Lillian Etcheverry, both of San Rafael, California.
Tom's visitation is Thursday July 28, 2011 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Oak Lawn Funeral Home. The funeral service is Friday July 29, 2011 at 9:30 am at the First Baptist Church of Pensacola. Burial will be at Barrancas National Cemetery at 11:00 am.
Oak Lawn Funeral Home 619 New Warrington Rd. is in charge of arrangements.
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Published in Pensacola News Journal on July 29, 2011